Monday, January 20, 2014

January Ramblings

I'd like to dedicate this blog post to Lisa, Lisa, and Dee, three of my most delightful and generous customers.  Thank you for the note, by the way.

I celebrated my 23rd birthday just a little less than two weeks ago.  By that time, all three of my brothers had left our home to go their separate ways, and my second-youngest sister was also preparing to leave the state.  Now, it's just Greta, Cookie, me, and my parents again.  The house is quieter, admittedly more peaceful, and a little empty.
My 13th birthday.  It's been ten years since I became a teenager.
I'm at a crossroads in my life.  It's been four-and-a-half months since I've come back to Minnesota, and I need a change.  The new year, of course, is the obvious time for change. This year, I want my resolutions to be more than flimsy good intentions scribbled onto a page in my journal, shoved away into a drawer and forgotten completely by March.  I'm serious about changing my life because I need that change. 

I know I'm not being all that I can be.

Okay, enough of the heavy (well, for about a paragraph).  I have actually found quite a lot of silver lining even in my disappointments and melancholy.  For example, I've struck up some awesome new friendships and nurtured old ones as well.   I'm also quite proud of my reading streak.  (I occasionally go through phases of Reader's Block, during which my mind is too restless for a book to hold its attention.  Reader's Block is especially frustrating for someone who loves books as much as I do).  Anyway, I read the Divergent trilogy in less than a week...
...and now am more or less coping with a literary-induced fugue state, letting tears drop unabashedly into my tea as I desperately seek comfort.  I mean, honestly.  It's been a long time since I've cried this much over a book. 

I won't give away any spoilers, but I will offer a little background for anyone who isn't familiar with the series.  The dystopian setting reminds me of The Hunger Games, but Veronica Roth breathes a fresh kind of life into her vision of a post-apocalyptic Chicago.  (Also, the writing is better).  In this world, people are divided up into five factions, each based on one of the following virtues: honesty, kindness, selflessness, intelligence, and courage.  The story follows Beatrice "Tris" Prior, a 16-year-old who shows an aptitude for three factions rather than one.  Because of this, Tris is a threat to the system and must guard her secret to save her life from the people who want to eliminate all "divergent" citizens.

I became interested in this series through a friend's recommendation but I didn't get around to reading it until seeing the trailer for its upcoming film adaptation. Of course, seeing the male lead helped to motivate me to read the books.  Ulterior motives aside, though, I found the trilogy to be deeply moving and surprisingly sophisticated for the YA genre.
Remember the ridiculously hunky diplomat in Downton Abbey who dies in a rather compromising way?  I always felt mildly guilty for finding him attractive in light of his general odiousness.  Well, the actor is in Divergent, he's tattooed, he's brooding, and he plays a sympathetic character!  Win!
I will not explain the emotional state the conclusion of the series has brought me, but I do recommend jumping on this bandwagon (or should I say jumping on this train...  It's in the book.  You'll get it if you read it).

I know it's a small thing but I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish a book or a series of books.  I think this is just one step towards my new year of productiveness. 

Now, I'm off to find the next good book, or maybe to just get more tea...

No comments:

Post a Comment